Animal stories essentially funny

05:57, Jul 21 2014

Father-of-two Mark Hotton casts his eye over three books for children.

This Old Ram
Written and illustrated by Errol McLeary (Bateman RRP $20)

A truly Kiwi take on the traditional nursery rhyme This Old Man. The old ram has some fun on the farm tormenting the sheepdog, chasing sheep, chewing on cabbage trees, playing in the cowshed and scaring pukeko. Great illustrations with plenty of Kiwiana-related detail.

Dashing Dog
By Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Donovan Bixley (HarperCollins RRP $30)

It's not easy finding something to rhyme with the likes of dandified and dog-about-townery but Margaret Mahy achieves it with some skill. She writes about an amazing beachfront rescue by Dashing Dog, while Donovan Bixley's wizardry with the illustrations is obvious from the first page. A true delight that's likely to keep both child and adult returning.

By Leila Rudge (Walker Books)

With quirky pictures and a funny ending, this story of a little dog trying to find an owner is likely to be a favourite with a little girl in our house. She'll easily fall in love with Ted and laugh at his little adventure.